[The Best] Kris Maddigan: Cuphead’s Musical Mastermind | kris maddigan – Cazzette

kris maddigan: Is it the article you’re searching for?

When Toronto percussionist and composer, Kristofer Maddigan, was first approached by his buddies again in 2013 to jot down the music for the online game they had been growing, his first response was “no way.” Actually his second and third reactions had been the identical. He felt far out of his consolation zone. As a classically educated percussionist and somebody with out a whole lot of composition expertise, he felt he simply didn’t have the writing chops. But the brothers, Chad and Jared Moldenhauer, endured.

“I think I was the only musician that they knew!” says Maddigan.

That turned out to be a really lucky factor as – quick ahead 5 years – the online game Cuphead is a large hit worldwide, promoting over three million copies throughout the first 12 months of its launch and garnering all types of accolades, together with finest recreation of 2017 by Entertainment Weekly, a BAFTA for Best Game Music and an Academy of Arts and Sciences D.I.C.E. award for Outstanding Achievement in Original Music. One of the charms of the sport is its art work, which was impressed by cartoons and animation of the Thirties.

The music has been rather well-obtained too. Maddigan was nominated for a JUNO award for finest instrumental album this 12 months (a 4-LP deluxe vinyl set) and at one level the album reached No. 3 on Billboard’s jazz charts. Maddigan was additionally named “2017 Musician of the Year” by the Toronto Musician’s Association.

One of the behind-the-scenes movies of the recording session for the soundtrack has gotten over 3.2 million views on YouTube, which is just about extraordinary for contemporary large band music. As effectively, a stay out of doors present of the band enjoying the rating on the current Kensington Market Jazz Festival was bought out to a really enthusiastic viewers.

Here, Maddigan provides us some fascinating perception into the method for devising a recreation soundtrack.

WN: So how did you get the gig?

KM: I met the brothers Moldenhauer round Grade 5 and have been buddies with them ever since. We grew up about two blocks from one another in Regina and I spent numerous hours of their basement enjoying video video games rising up. (I in all probability ought to have been practising.) Six or seven years in the past after they had the thought for this little online game they wished to make, they requested me if I used to be focused on writing the music.

What’s your musical background?

Like many children I began on piano, but additionally like many children I discovered I didn’t have the persistence for it. I wished to be a rock drummer, so my mother and I compromised and I started taking classical percussion classes once I was round ten. I continued enjoying percussion all through highschool and happily nonetheless ended up enjoying plenty of rock drums, which was an amazing steadiness.

While taking a 12 months of common programs on the University of Regina I got here throughout a poster for a U of R percussion ensemble live performance and I mentioned to myself, “Hey, I used to do that.”’ So I checked it out, and it reawakened a love of music that had been dormant for a number of years. That fall I began my undergrad in percussion efficiency, after which moved to Toronto 11 years in the past to do an Artist’s Diploma on the Glenn Gould School. I’m very lucky to have been a member of the National Ballet of Canada Orchestra since 2010.

Was this your first main composition?

Essentially the one different compositions I’ve achieved are a tune from my recital from my temporary stint within the U of T jazz program and a few processed marimba background music for a Nuit Blanche undertaking. That’s just about it. I do have many different musical pursuits although. For the previous 4 years I’ve been actually into Brazilian percussion, and I’m at all times engaged on my drum set enjoying. I’m additionally making an attempt to develop my composing expertise and am at the moment digging deeper into concept and counterpoint.

Tell us in regards to the course of for composing for a recreation. Were there fashion pointers? Were there exact timings to stick to? How lengthy did it take? What was essentially the most difficult half?

The recreation improvement and the composition course of befell just about concurrently. I used to be despatched a listing of ranges and managers that might require music. [Editor’s note: In video gaming, a boss is a significant computer-controlled enemy. A fight with a boss character is referred to as a boss battle and Cuphead has been praised for its numerous clever and challenging boss battles.]

My typical course of was to simply to jot down and we might match the tunes up with the suitable bosses later within the course of. Often, as soon as it was determined which tune would go along with which boss, I’d then tweak the music to be extra acceptable for the state of affairs (i.e. including practice-like results to the practice boss, and many others).

Considering how lengthy it took me to jot down the music, if I had waited till the sport was completed to start out, it nonetheless wouldn’t be out!

The strategy to the music of Cuphead may be very totally different than the music of most video games. There are not any actual exact timings to line issues up with and the music isn’t reactive or dynamic as can be extra typical for video games. It was extra necessary for us to seize a “vibe’” versus following the motion, so I ended up simply writing customary three-to-4-minute jazz tunes. Typically a participant gained’t even attain the tip of the tune on a given stage because the tunes are lengthy sufficient that the participant has both died and needed to restart, or would have already accomplished the extent.

The solely fashion pointers I used to be given had been “1930s big band.” As the sport expanded to incorporate ranges and world maps, I began to assume exterior of that one particular period and magnificence, and we selected ragtime for the platforming ranges and quite a few stylistic iterations of the principle 4-notice theme for the world maps. In some instances (as within the shrines), they simply mentioned “Do whatever you like.”

The most difficult half for me was making an attempt to jot down in a extremely by-product fashion whereas nonetheless sustaining my very own id. It was crucial to us to strategy the music in Cuphead with respect and a way of historical past. And to grasp and make the most of the clichés that outline a method whereas doing one thing new and authentic with them. For instance, there are a lot of firmly established conventions that outline a Joplin-esque ragtime fashion.

The query then turned how do I write in that fashion with out simply blatantly ripping off those who got here earlier than, however whereas nonetheless utilizing the gadgets I had no hand in creating? And possibly extra importantly, how to do this in a means that honours the work of the good composers and musicians that got here earlier than? I at all times approached this undertaking extra from the standpoint of “What if the golden age of big bands and the golden age of video games coexisted side by side?”

While a whole lot of it’s fairly bonkers (it’s recreation music, it type of needs to be), we had been very aware to by no means let it descend into parody. We realized early on that this recreation had the potential to succeed in a demographic that has in all probability by no means been uncovered to this sort of music, so we had a accountability to do it accurately. The sheer variety of messages we get from individuals who have mentioned that this was their first publicity to jazz music – and that it has opened a door to a different world for them – has been very gratifying.

How did the recording classes go?

I used to be extraordinarily nervous earlier than the primary rehearsal. I wasn’t positive if a number of the music was going to be utterly unplayable, or whether or not there can be technical glitches – scores and elements getting exported incorrectly, improper transpositions, and many others). By the tip of that rehearsal I knew that every thing was going to be all proper, and it was an amazing aid.

I don’t assume the musicians knew precisely what they had been stepping into, and after they confirmed up lots of them had been like “What’s up with these tempos!?” But they greater than rose to the problem and clearly performed their asses off. I believe you possibly can actually hear the synergy that exists between them. Many have been working collectively for many years, in bands just like the Boss Brass. More than that, I believe it seems like they’re having enjoyable, which was crucial for this music.

“Cuphead was a great experience. You don’t get a chance to play intense big band swing on video games very often (like never),” mentioned Dave Dunlop, trumpet participant on the soundtrack. “Kris’ writing was excellent for a relatively young man and the players really rose to the occasion, considering how difficult the music was.”

How do you account for the recognition of the recording session movies?

I really feel the rationale the behind-the-scenes movies have had such an amazing response is that folks like seeing the method firsthand. There’s a visceral response to seeing actual musicians at work, possibly for a similar cause we go to live shows to see bands play the identical songs that we have already got on albums at residence.

What was John Herberman’s function within the recording?

John Herberman was my mentor all through the undertaking, from first being a trainer and serving to me parse by the composition course of, to taking up the function of contractor for the classes, and being the conductor of the band each in studio and at our first ever stay present on the Kensington Market Jazz Festival. Without John’s expertise and assist the music would have been a shadow of what it will definitely turned.

“Kris is a very smart man and we developed a really good working relationship,” mentioned Herberman. “He did a ton of analysis into Thirties music. So though I’ve years of expertise composing for large bands and was in a position to coach Kris on some technical issues like voicings for horns, his understanding of the 30s music fashion actually helped.

“He entrusted me with a lot of responsibility for these sessions and that’s not easy to do. As well, working with the Moldenhauers was one of the most enjoyable experiences I’ve had in a long time. They were very supportive and wanted to do the sessions right and make sure everyone was having fun. And that’s not how things usually go these days.”

Spare Parts

Who are your jazz-music heroes? Any specific influences for the music composed for Cuphead?

Duke Ellington and Scott Joplin had been by far my two largest influences, however Cab Calloway, Benny Goodman, Gene Krupa and Fletcher Henderson additionally forged lengthy shadows on the Cuphead music.

Is it uncommon to have a full band enjoying a recreation soundtrack? Isn’t it often digital/synth music?

I believe that utilizing stay musicians is definitely turning into extra frequent, particularly in AAA video games, however on the indie facet of issues my impression is that it’s usually too value prohibitive. I definitely don’t know every other video games which have used a stay large band. An additional particular shout-out goes to Jeremy Darby and Julian Decorte at Canterbury Music Company in Toronto. I can not think about having recorded this soundtrack anyplace else. And Jeremy spent months refining the mixes: getting simply the fitting steadiness between clear instrument tones and a classic sensibility.

Are you a gamer?

Growing up I used to be, however I just about stopped once I began my undergrad as there was simply not sufficient time. I’m extra of an informal gamer now, primarily simply testing video games which are thought of necessary that I must be conversant in, or video games with acclaimed soundtracks in order that I can sustain with what’s happening musically within the gaming world.

Cathy Riches is a Toronto-based recovering singer and ink slinger who hasn’t performed a online game since Pac-Man, and who thinks it’s higher to hold a tune than a grudge.


Cathy Riches

For a listing of writings by this writer, click on the identify above

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[Update] Composing for Cuphead with Kris Maddigan | kris maddigan – Cazzette

I had the privilege of interviewing Cuphead composer Kris Maddigan

We talked about his course of for composition, the ability of studying and finding out those that’ve gone earlier than you, and a easy however highly effective precept for fulfillment as a online game composer.



Arranging for Large Jazz Ensemble – Berklee Press

Mark Levine books

Jazz Composition Theory and Practice – Berklee Press

Henry Mancini – Sounds and Scores

Barbershop Arranging Manuel

Scott Joplin Complete Piano Works

They All Played Ragtime – Harriet Janis and Rudi Blesh

Early Jazz and The Swing Era – Gunther Schuller

Duke Ellington, Jazz Composer – Ken Rattenbury

Bill Dobbins – Jazz Arranging and Composing, A Linear Approach

Gary Lindsay – The Jazz Arrangers Manual


Peak: How to Master Almost Anything – Ok. Anders Ericsson

Drive: Daniel H. Pink

Mastery: Robert Greene

The Creative Habit: Twyla Tharp

Payoff: Dan Ariely

Ignore Everybody: Hugh MacLeod

The Talent Code: Daniel Coyle

Talent is Overrated: Geoff Colvin

Creativity: Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi

Flow: Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi

Steal Like an Artist: Austin Kleon

Jonathan Lethem: The Ecstasy of Influence

The Gift: Lewis Hyde

Free Play: Stephen Nachnanovitch

David Lynch – Catching the Big Fish

In this interview, I sit down with the insightful Kris Maddigan, who composed probably the most originative and charming soundtracks for the unbelievable recreation, Cuphead.

Our dialog is candid, uncooked, and fueled by bourbon. We go on tangents about Paul Simon, the tapes Kris had in his automotive rising up, the laborious lifetime of a freelancer, and extra.

We chat about what he discovered from Cuphead, how he views himself within the wake of Cuphead’s success, and what’s subsequent for him.

His recommendation for younger composers is a number of the finest I’ve heard, as effectively.

Thanks for listening!

This interview can also be accessible on YouTube

Kris Maddigan | Cuphead – The Game Music Podcast (Ep. 1)

Kris and Jake speak about composing Cuphead’s award successful soundtrack, the significance of aesthetic and Kris’ favorite soundtracks and video games!
Follow Kris:
Twitter: https://twitter.com/KrisMaddigan
bandcamp: https://studiomdhr.bandcamp.com/releases
Follow The Game Music Podcast:
Twitter: https://twitter.com/GameMusicPod
iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/ca/podcast/thegamemusicpodcast/id1339613712
Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/show/19UqfuqKLxzHnCsl4gYDQL
Google Play: https://play.google.com/music/listen?u=0/ps/Irovkfy6ej3o36fjlb3djw5hmpu
Stitcher: https://www.stitcher.com/podcast/jakebutineau/thegamemusicpodcast
Follow Jake:
Twitter: https://twitter.com/jakebutineau
bandcamp: https://jakebutineau.bandcamp.com
Facebook: https://facebook.com/jakebutineaumusic
SoundCloud: https://soundcloud.com/jakebutineau

You can see extra helpful data right here: See more information here

Kris Maddigan | Cuphead - The Game Music Podcast (Ep. 1)

The Music of Cuphead – The Delicious Last Course: Recording the ‘Overture’

The Cuphead Delicious Last Course soundtrack is comprised of over 110 musicians, performing large band u0026 symphonic music. In Summer of 2021 within the midst of the COVID pandemic Studio MDHR introduced these musicians collectively for a sequence of rigorously deliberate recording classes.
This is an unique take a look at how a number of the recreation’s music was created. We hope it brings a smile to your face.
Written and organized by Kristofer Maddigan
Lyrics by Kristofer Maddigan, extra lyrics by Chad and Jared Moldenhauer
Recorded by Julian Decorte and Jeremy Darby at Canterbury Music Company, Noble Street Studios, and Revolution Recording Studios in Toronto, Canada. (May – September 2021)
Additional video footage shot at Toast + Jam studios in Toronto, Canada
Edited by Julian Decorte and Jeremy Darby.
Mixed by Jeremy Darby at Canterbury Music Company in Toronto, Canada.
Mastering by Peter Letros at Wreckhouse Mastering in Toronto, Canada
Remote digicam operation and video postproduction work achieved by Michael Fisher of Fisher Media
Inkwell Isles Philharmonic Orchestra
Conductor John Herberman
Sharon Lee (Concertmaster)
Sarah Boyer
Tanya Charles Iveniuk
Adam Diderrich
Alessia Disimino
Jamie Godber
Patrick Goodwin
Emily Hau
Adrian Irvine
Emily Kruspe
Praise Lam
Ellen Moore
Lyssa Pelton
Jeremy Potts
Marcus Scholtes
Bijan Sepanji
Aysel TaghiZada
Alex Toskov
Carolyn Blackwell
Caitlyn Boyle
Moira Burke
Woosol Cho
Veronica Lee
Rory McLeod
Bryan Holt
Alice Kim
Liza McLellan
Sybil Shanahan
•Double Bass•
Michael Cox
Stephen Haynes
Flutes – Laura Chambers, Amelia Lyon
Piccolo – Laura Chambers
Oboes – Lief Mosbaugh, Melissa Scott
Clarinets – Colleen Cook, Anthony Thompson
Bassoons – Kristin Day, Kevin Harris
Horn – David Quackenbush
Trumpets – Michael Fedyshyn, Luise Heyerhoff, Rob Weymouth
Trombones – Megan Hodge, Cathy Stone
Bass Trombone David Pell
Tuba – Jen Stephen
Sanya Eng
Christina Faye
Andrew Rasmus
•Kris Maddigan•
Queen’s Court Choristers
Suba Sankaran Leader
Dylan Bell
Heather Bambrick
Shannon Butcher
Rique Franks
Aaron Jensen
signifies member of trio
Featuring Members of ‘The Cuphead Jazz Orchestra’
Clarinet Vern Dorge
Trumpet – Jason Logue
Trombone – Alastair Kay
Piano – Jeff McLeod
Bass Neil Swainson
Guitar Ben Bishop
Drums Ted Warren
Orchestra Librarian Kris Maddigan
Personnel Manager – John Herberman
Copyist Martin Loomer
This tune and all music in Cuphead The Delicious Last Course was recorded following all Government of Canada and Government of Ontario security protocols, together with extra measures taken to make sure performer wholesome and security. These measures included (however weren’t restricted to) every day COVID speedy testing for all onsite personnel (with solely these returning destructive exams permitted to enter the constructing), strict capability limits inside all recording services, enforced separation between all performing musicians utilizing bodily limitations, inflexible masks mandates with exceptions just for vocal performers doing their work, and full UV gentle therapy and sanitization of the recording services between classes. Our immense due to Jeremy Darby for determining how one can report safely and securely with this many performers. No performers or employees engaged on Cuphead The Delicious Last Course contracted COVID as part of their work.
Onsite Nurses offered by ‘CCare Health Services’
Special due to
Matt Endsin @ Songbird Life Science
At Noble Street Studios: Donny DaSilva, Daniel Goldade, Alexander Mak, Zachariah Pepe
At Revolution Recording Studios Kim Cooke, Creighton Clark, Luke Schindler
Mugman and
Chalice make a deal
As a staff
To assist make Chalice actual
It’s the Delicious Last Course
Oh the Delicious Last Course
One can eat their fill
and nonetheless keep till
the Delicious Last Course
It’s the Delicious Last Course
Oh that Delicious Last Course
There’s tarts, muffins and pies
a dozen scones ‘oh my!’
for that Delicious Last Course
Oh Ms. Chalice simply needs to be
simply as actual as actual might be
With the Wondertart
she will then take coronary heart,
it’s off to the bakery
Chef Saltbaker has a plan
The finest tart maker within the land
If they’re expedient
with the components
then he may simply assist
With that Delicious Last Course
Oh that Delicious Last Course
If there’s a single meal
To assist make Chalice actual
It’s the Delicious Last Course
Oh the Delicious Last Course
Oh the Delicious Last Course
Searching à la carte
To bake the Wondertart
For the Delicious Last Course
Using recipes to get
Necessities for the
Delicious Last Course
With a wink and a tune so long as
Nothing goes improper…
With that Delicious Last Course

The Music of Cuphead - The Delicious Last Course: Recording the ‘Overture’

MAGFest 2019: Kris Maddigan Qu0026A

Come out and decide the mind behind the music for Cuphead and way more!

MAGFest 2019: Kris Maddigan Qu0026A

Cuphead OST – Floral Fury [Music]

Composers: Kris Maddigan
StudioMDHR Entertainment

Cuphead OST - Floral Fury [Music]

Cuphead OST – Railroad Wrath [Music]

Composers: Kris Maddigan
StudioMDHR Entertainment

Cuphead OST - Railroad Wrath [Music]

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